Business / Economy

San Juan Bautista restaurant closes

The Happy Rooster in downtown serves last customers.
Photo by Carmel de Bertaut.

The town of San Juan Bautista just got a little smaller.

The Happy Rooster restaurant in downtown San Juan closed its doors Dec. 9.

“It was really nice to know this community and the feeling of being part of this small community,” owner Nancy Soto said. “It has been a really sad weekend for me.”

Soto took ownership of the restaurant in April and said that while business was good, especially during the summer months, debts and needed repairs left behind by the previous owner prevented her from establishing a profitable business.

“We just ran out of money,” said Soto. “A lot of the stuff was not working so we had to fix it.”

Soto runs a catering operation in Salinas, Bernie’s Tacos, which will now be her main business focus.



Carmel de Bertaut

Carmel has a BA in Natural Sciences/Biodiversity Stewardship from San Jose State University and an AA in Communications Studies from West Valley Community College. She reports on science and the environment, arts and human interest pieces. Carmel has worked in the ecological and communication fields and is an avid creative writer and hiker. She has been reporting for BenitoLink since May, 2018 and covers Science and the Environment and Arts and Culture.